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passthepitonspete


Feb 14, 2002, 3:09 PM
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The amazing BUTTERFLY knot, and the BETTER WAY to tie it
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We will be talking about this amazing and underutilized knot, and the better way to tie it.

The butterfly knot is sometimes called the alpine butterfly knot.

So before you do anything else, please go grab yourself a hunk of rope! Anything from 5mm on up will work fine, and you can even tie it in the middle of your climbing rope if nothing else is handy.

This is a "hands on post", and you are wasting your time if you don't have a hunk of rope in your hands.




HOW TO TIE A BUTTERFLY KNOT


THE TRADITIONAL WAY

As per usual, there are two ways to tie this knot, the traditional way, and the better way.

It is interesting to note that in the twenty or thirty links I found to this knot, I only saw ONE reference to how to tie it the better way! Sheesh. Somehow, this comes as little surprise, and also as per usual, "you saw it here first!"

Let's start out, and take a look at how to tie the butterfly knot the TRADITIONAL way. Please note that Dr. Piton highly recommends you learn how to do it this way first. This way, you will at least know when you have tied it properly!

After you have practised tying it a few times, you can click here to see a REALLY COOL
ANIMATION.


Now, despite having read enough of these posts to fill the Niagara Falls Butterfly Conservatory, a very cool place you should visit if in our neck of the woods, I have not seen one reference to the secret tip to how the knot should look!



Here is your Secret Dr. Piton tip to tell if you have tied the butterfly knot correctly:

The loop of cord that comes out of the middle of the knot sits at ninety degrees to the direction of the rope.

Play around with your knot, pull it tight, and tell me that you "get it". The loop you form sits crossways to the rope.



If you have practised tying the butterfly knot this way a few times, you will realize that it is a pain in the ass!

Surely, there has to be a better way!

There is.

And my name's not "Shirley".

Practise hard this weekend, and stay tuned for next week's episode entitled,



THE BETTER WAY TO TIE THE BUTTERFLY KNOT


Grab your hunk of rope, and lay it across the top of your palm, with your fingers outstretched

Make two (additional) complete wraps around your outstretched palm, so that the two new passes of rope crossing your palm travel in parallel, and that both of these new passes cross over the first pass

If you face the heel of your hand towards your face, the rope pattern should look like a "does not equal sign"

Keep the wraps sitting fairly loosely across your palm - they will have to slide

Grab the outer strand, which is the one closest to your fingertips, and pull it across the others towards the butt of your hand

Now push this rope loop down into your palm, and pull it back underneath the two strands and push it towards your fingertips to complete the knot

Pull the knot tight, and then LOOK AT IT

Does it look right? Did you tie it right? Be sure - the easiest way to check is to see that the rope loop comes out of the knot at ninety degrees to the direction of the rope

These instructions will work whether you lay it across your left palm or your right palm.

If you are confused, you can click here for the
SECRET PHOTO


You will need to practise - heaven knows I did! - it took me five minutes to figure out the damn thing again - sheesh

Once you "get it", you can tie the knot easily in under ten seconds, and not struggle like you have to do if you tie it the traditional way




A FEW BIG WALL APPLICATIONS FOR THE BUTTERFLY KNOT

The beauty of the butterfly knot is that it is easy to undo after loading. It renders completely obsolete the figure of 8 loop or any other loop of rope you might create.

In short, the butterfly knot is The Shit!

A few big wall applications of the alpine butterfly knot include:


When climbing with a partner, shortening up the haul line on your pig - in
this instance, after you release your load release knot and send your pig into space, your excess haul line becomes your lower-out line

Attaching your solo tag rack to your lead line which has really become your tag line in the continuous loop.

When soloing, a backup knot to your Far End Hauler, which is the inverted compound pulley on top of your pig

The alpine butterfly knot can also be used in an exceptionally clever way to join two ropes together, ropes on which you will either be jugging or rappelling. The link is to a photo, eh?


Perhaps you can think of other applications


Note: The specific applications discussed above will be the subject of subsequent posts - please be patient!



[ This Message was edited by: passthepitonspete on 2002-11-03 14:56 ]


bshaftoe


Feb 14, 2002, 11:18 PM
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I would speculate it involves three turns of cord around a hand........

(See if you can tie it using one hand...)

[ This Message was edited by: bshaftoe on 2002-02-14 23:27 ]


cryptoboy


Feb 15, 2002, 1:29 PM
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I can also reccomend the farmer's knot, at least for ease of tying. The butterfly is kind of tricky

see here for a description, although he calls it a farmer's hitch.


Ashleys Book of Knots, the knot bible. A bit much unless you are really into knots, but the best source I've ever found.

happy knotting
c

[ This Message was edited by: cryptoboy on 2002-02-15 13:30 ]


cryptoboy


Feb 15, 2002, 2:08 PM
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here is a butterfly. Slightly different than a farmer's knot.

I'll try to take some pictures of similar knots and post them somehwere for you.

c

[ This Message was edited by: cryptoboy on 2002-02-15 14:08 ]


apollodorus


Feb 19, 2002, 12:25 PM
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Maybe my fingernails are gone (from biting them off while contemplating using my 00 rps as heads), but the butterfly knot is one of the most horrendous things to untie after it's been weighted.

I prefer the bowline on a bight, which gives you the same loop in the middle of the rope.

Pull three feet of bight out of the middle of your rope and tie a loose overhand knot in both strands. Take the bight loop and fold it back over the overhand knot and pull the two loops of the bight back out of the overhand to form the final loops.

If you do it right, it looks alot like a bowline knot, except that the loop is actually two loops.


blackjack


Feb 19, 2002, 1:35 PM
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Dat was nice ! Specially the animation ..


anth


Feb 20, 2002, 6:58 PM
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pete,

that's a damn cool way to tie a butterly. the only thing that the traditional way has to recommend it is the funny mnemonic: "make a little man, bend him over, and shove his head up his arse. now pull tight."

i find more uses for the directional figure-8 than the butterfly. it points along the rope as opposed to perpendicular to it (like the butterfly). also, since it's a figure-8 variation, it's easy to tie, easy to untie (much easier than a full , and most importantly easy to inspect. now that i think about it, i use figure-8 variations for almost everything. fewer mistakes, especially when you're tired and/or gripped.

-a

[ This Message was edited by: anth on 2002-02-20 21:47 ]

[ This Message was edited by: anth on 2002-02-20 21:48 ]


passthepitonspete


Mar 3, 2002, 9:07 AM
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Greetings from Kentucky and the World's Longest Cave, which incidentally is longer still thanks to our recent discovery, exploration and survey. We may have increased its depth, too - we climbed into what will probably turn out to be a new high point in the system, which we can verify as soon as the survey data are plotted.





There are times when even I - Dr. Piton - come to realize that I may actually be a B.W.T. myself!

Standing spread-eagled across the top of a sixty-five foot pit underground with a waterfall roaring right beside me and fumbling in the dark while madly trying to tie an alpine butterfly knot the "better way" in order to clip into the rebelay bolt I had just drilled was one of those times.

Guess what? I didn't give you the right instructions on how to tie the knot in the post above!

Sheesh.

That was a helluva place to discover I didn't know what the hail I was doing!

But these things happen when you haven't climbed a wall in months - even the most simple concepts appear complex.

Fortunately, there is a solution, which is to simply get back up on a wall!






At any rate, every person who read this post and didn't notice either that my instructions were wrong is just as guilty of being a Big Wall Theorist as me!

Needless to say, the post above has been corrected.

You may wish to reread the instructions above, along with your hunk of rope, because the instructions above NOW MAKE SENSE.



I am Dr. Piton,

and I believe that making sense is a good idea






P.S. It is indeed true that an alpine butterfly knot is not as strong as a figure of 8 on a bight, as Masterbeta points out. I do not know how much less strong it is.

What I do know is that the alpine butterfly knot is HUGELY easier to untie.

I'm down in Kentucky right now on long distance dial-up networking, so I can't really surf the net to find out the answer. (Well I probably could, but I'm way too cheap to pay for it!)

Perhaps somebody can find out.

What we need to know, in per cent, is how much is the rope strength reduced when a figure of 8 on a bight is tied versus when an alpine butterfly knot is tied. It might be something like 70% rope strength with the 8, but only 55% with the butterfly.

Until such time as it is proved to me that an alpine butterfly knot is substantially weaker than a figure of 8 on a bight, I will continue to haul my B.F.P. using an alpine butterfly knot, like I always have, because I still believe it to be the better way.



[ This Message was edited by: passthepitonspete on 2002-11-03 15:03 ]


joemor


Mar 6, 2002, 2:54 PM
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pete its so nice to see knots as the topic.... i love the little devils and even invested in the ashleys book of em, which cost me a couple of cams....... i reccon as it is and important part of a moutain mans upbringing to know more knots than the next, that there should be a forum based soley on knots. it doesnt matter if there climbing related or knot (hahahaha).

all in favour say i

cheers

your fellow knotsman
joe


passthepitonspete


Mar 30, 2002, 10:50 AM
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The alpine butterfly knot can also be used in an exceptionally clever way to join two ropes together, ropes on which you will either be jugging or rappelling.

Cheers,

Dr. Piton


cryptoboy


Mar 30, 2002, 11:44 AM
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you can actually tie the knot with out tying the ends together (something I got from Ashley's book of knots).

In knot tests he did, it's about the strongest knot you can get, especially for slippery ropes. I would lash the ends with duct tape or something to keep it from working out, but otherwise it's pretty cool.

If anyone wants, I can do some photographs to show how its done.

your knot fanatic
c


passthepitonspete


Nov 3, 2002, 3:00 PM
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You can click here to see a photo of an alpine butterfly knot being used on a Far End Hauler.


petsfed


Nov 3, 2002, 3:37 PM
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I was a wee bit perplexed for a while there, but now, thanks to PTPP and da Ooze, I'll never fumble with a butterfly (and frozen hands) ever again!


twrock


Nov 6, 2002, 10:56 PM
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According to a very old source book, here's that strength rating for a butterfly knot:

For 5/16ths nylon rope...

(drum roll...............................)

... 63%!!!

(Ok, so that wasn't very climactic after all.)

Sad part is that the book doesn't give the stats for a figure 8 on a bight for comparison.


boz84


Nov 6, 2002, 11:10 PM
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Hmm, there must be two types of butterfly knots, either that or i know a Better Way to tie it. I do believe, is a variation on the know, but it was taught to me as the butterfly know, and is a very similar knot, fi not the same.


Take your rope, horizontally to you, for demonstration pursposed.


Make two reflected loops with the trailing ends going in the same direction (towards you. By reflected, I mean the trailing ends (going down) are in front of the horizontal part of the rope, and are mirror images of eachother.

Both both loops directly on top of eachother, by doing this, the horizontal section forms what looks like a bight in the rope. Bring this bight around and through the two mirror-imaged loops.

Pull tight.


apollodorus


Nov 6, 2002, 11:12 PM
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Very old source book:

Ropes, Knots and Slings for Climbers
By Walt Wheelock; La Siesta Press, 1967; p12



[ This Message was edited by: apollodorus on 2002-11-06 23:48 ]


twrock


Nov 7, 2002, 6:23 AM
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YES! And Tom wins that all expenses paid trip to wherever it was.

Have you still got Basic Rockcraft and Advanced Rockcraft by Royal Robbins? Hip belays and body rappels. ("Look ma; no gear!") And of course the much more up-to-date Learning to Rock Climb by Loughman. I can't tell you how many times I read through those books.


climber_andy


Nov 7, 2002, 6:44 AM
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Just for comparison, Freedom of the Hills says the fingure-8 is rated 75-80% of full strength


winkwinklambonini


Nov 7, 2002, 9:01 AM
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Why is that better?


petsfed


Nov 7, 2002, 9:40 AM
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Easier to untie. And you're not supposed to be falling on it anyway. Good knot to make a loop in the rope without having to go through the entire length of the rope, with minimal rope used on the knot.


no_limit


Nov 7, 2002, 11:47 AM
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Awesome knot PTPP, Ilove it. The traditional way is to hard, but your way I can now do without even looking.
Thanks


timpanogos


Nov 7, 2002, 1:59 PM
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I was just reading in the Chokestone series "Self-Rescue" book this morning - good news Dr. P - they show you how to tie this knot tied the better way.

Interesting that they also consider this a must know knot.

Chad


passthepitonspete


Nov 8, 2002, 4:50 PM
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Andy - is that a figure 8 on a bight, or just a regular "in line" one?


apollodorus


Nov 8, 2002, 5:02 PM
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I still have Advanced Rockcraft, but not Basic Rockcraft. I think my brother has that book. Maybe I should try to find a copy on eBay before it becomes collectible.


xjicex


Mar 21, 2005, 9:49 AM
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In reply to:
If you are confused, you can click here for the SECRET PHOTO

I know this might be a long shot, but does anyone have this "secret photo"
that they could share with me? or maybe someone who can do this method
of tying the butterfly knot could take some step by step photos and post them?

Thanks,
Joe

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